After a 25-year struggle, the groundbreaking ceremony for Dorsey Interchange was completed Monday with construction planned to take place for an estimated two years.
“We all know the advantages, but it took so long to get the funding,” said Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller. “We are all excited that Dorsey is finally done.”
The $25 million project involves the widening of the Dorsey Drive overcrossing, construction of additional highway lanes and new on- and off-ramps on Route 20/49.
The interchange will provide easier access to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Sierra College and local businesses and homes.
“We lived in the Brunswick basin, and it would always be crowded,” said Kristin Hahner, a Nevada City resident. “This will help with the commute for sure.”
Edward B. Sylvester pioneered the project when he served as member of the Nevada County Transportation Commission from 1980 to 1998. He joked that he hoped he would still be alive when the project was completed.
“When I left, I said, ‘Can you keep this going?’ And the city of Grass Valley has done a great job of putting this together,” Sylvester said. “This is my favorite groundbreaker.”
After a battle with barriers to funding, the California Transportation Commission approved a $14.1 million funding allocation in August 2012. The Grass Valley City Council approved the opening of a bid for construction, which was awarded to McGuire and Hester, an Oakland-based construction company, in the amount of $15,191,873 in January, The Union previously reported.
“At the end of the day, we were able to come up with the last piece, and we were very motivated to make this happen,” said Dan Holler, city administrator of Grass Valley. “It was a long time coming.”
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4230. Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker contributed to this report.